This is an unusually large picture for Moreelse. The subject, popular in the 17th century, portrays Pero suckling her starving father Cimon in prison. It is taken from Valerius Maximus's ‘On piety towards parents’. Primarily a portrait painter, Moreelse's trip to Italy around 1600 influenced his history painting. He met Rubens in 1627 and knowledge of Rubens’s own ‘Cimon and Pero’ (1612) is evident in this picture.